Permira Plans Recap of Iglo After Rejecting Revised Offer -Source
07/09/2012| 07:47am US/Eastern
By Marietta Cauchi
LONDON--Permira is pushing ahead with a EUR500 million ($614 million) refinancing of its frozen food business Birds Eye Iglo after it rejected a revised offer from buyout firms BC Partners and Blackstone Group (>> The Blackstone Group L.P.) last week, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires Monday.
The recapitalization will increase Birds Eye's debt before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to 5.5 times from 4.2 times, or EUR1. 4 billion. The lion's share of the cash cash will be used to fund dividends to Permira, while the remainder will be used to finance expansion across Europe with an emphasis on eastern Europe.
The revised bid from Blackstone and BC Partners followed their earlier bid of EUR2.5 billion. Permira had put a price tag of between EUR2.8 billion and EUR3 billion on Iglo, which is Europe's leading branded frozen food business both in terms of sales and brand recognition,
Permira bought Iglo from Unilever PLC (>> Unilever N.V.) for EUR1.7 billion in 2006 and, in July 2010, recombined its Birds Eye unit with Unilever's other frozen-food business, Findus Italy, in a GBP675 million deal. Earlier this year it hired Credit Suisse Group AG (>> Credit Suisse Group AG) to advise on a sale of the business.
Rival buyout firm PAI Partners withdrew from the auction last month while Thai food group Charoen Pokphand PCL (>> Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co. Ltd.) was also interested in parts of the company. It didn't submit a formal bid.
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